From the category archives:

Online Education

Saga of Online Teaching, 4

by Dr Davis on January 8, 2010

In the Sandbox on Angel I found quizzes, but not in the other part.

Perhaps I can switch over whatever is in the Sandbox.

So I worked on quizzes there and hope that I can find out how to switch them over.

It was a lot harder to do online preparation than I expected.

And I was having vertigo again, which took me out of commission most of last week. Working.

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Saga of Online Teaching: 3

by Dr Davis on January 7, 2010

After having found the right place (Angel) and the right course (2W), I tried to find where quizzes are created. Even though not all the course was ready, I thought that would be a good place to work.

It seemed like the best place to look would be Manage. But clicking through there did not find anything that looked like what I remembered.

I wanted something easy and quick. “Create quizzes.” I was fairly sure I had seen that somewhere. Now how could I find it?

I couldn’t.

So I googled “create quizzes Angel” and found Lessons Tab: Create a Quiz.

Saved by the internet. It’s under Lessons.

So I went to Lessons. But there was no “create quizzes.” There was, however, a section called “create assessments.” Surely it wouldn’t be too hard from there.

Maybe. But it was.

Maybe I should have done that tutorial that I found at Training Angel.

So I returned there.

The tutorial says to go to Lessons. Then Add Content. Then Quiz. Unfortunately, I did that. Nothing about a quiz. And Assessments didn’t have quizzes. So I was still lost.

Stay tuned: What will I do now? At this point I don’t know and I feel like a total idiot. I have some options. I can wait until the staff are back on campus and go crying to them. (I might do that.) Or I can go retake my school’s tutorial. (I might do that.) Or I can decide I’m going to wing it. (No way am I doing that.)

Tomorrow will bring you SOT: 4.

I know you are on pins and needles for this. And, yes, I know how it ends. I didn’t put this up till I did.

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How to Grade Discussions for Online Classes

by Dr Davis on January 6, 2010

I am new to teaching online (as of this semester. After this I will be a pro).

I have been looking for ideas/syllabi/helps, etc.

I found an example of grading criteria for discussions on the Chronicle fora:

GRADING PARTICIPATION/DISCUSSION FORUMS

To earn an “A” for participation you must…
 Create posts that raise original, complex ideas about the text(s) and go beyond more obvious, traditional interpretations
 Create posts that use many short quotes and other appropriate details from the text/video(s) to adeptly illustrate these ideas
 Post to EVERY forum and leave no doubt in my mind that you carefully read EVERY assigned textbook chapter and/or viewed all required material
 Log in multiple times per week to engage in active, meaningful dialogue with other students in the Discussion Forums
 Address multiple discussion questions and write a total of at least 600 words in EACH full class discussion unit and 300 words for each serial episode in your small group
 Create posts that contain virtually no errors in spelling or grammar

To earn a “B” for participation you must…
 Create posts that clearly grasp of traditional interpretations of the texts
 Create posts that use many short quotes and other appropriate details from the text/video(s) to adeptly illustrate these ideas
 Post to EVERY forum and leave no doubt in my mind that you carefully read EVERY assigned textbook chapter and/or literary work
 Log in multiple times per week to engage in active, meaningful dialogue with other students in the Discussion Forums
 Address multiple discussion questions and write a total of at least 600 words in EACH full class discussion unit and 300 words for each serial episode in your small group
 Create posts that contain no more than a few errors in spelling or grammar

To earn a “C” for participation you must…
 Create posts that usually demonstrate a grasp of traditional interpretations of the texts
 Create posts that use some short quotes and other appropriate details from the text/video(s) in an attempt to illustrate these ideas
 Post to EVERY forum
 Log in at least once per week to engage in dialogue with other students in the Discussion Forums
 Address multiple discussion questions and write a total of at least 400 words in EACH full class discussion unit and 200 words for each serial episode in your small group
 Create posts without spelling or grammar issues that interfere with meaning

To earn a “D” for participation you may…
 Create posts that occasionally demonstrate a grasp of traditional interpretations of the texts
 Create posts that only sometimes use short quotes and other details from the text/video(s)
 Not post to EVERY forum
 Rarely engage in discussion with other students in the Discussion Forums; log in only once a week or less
 Write fewer than 400 words in each full class discussion unit or fewer than 200 words per serial episode
 Create posts with spelling or grammar issues that begin to interfere with meaning

To earn an “F” for participation you may…
 Create posts that rarely demonstrate a grasp of traditional interpretations of the texts
 Create posts that rarely or never short quotes and other details from the text/video(s)
 Not post to EVERY forum
 Rarely or never engage in discussion with other students in the Discussion Forums; log in only once a week or less
 Not approach a minimum of 400 words in each full class discussion unit or 200 words per serial episode
 Create posts with spelling or grammar issues that seriously interfere with meaning

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Saga of Online Teaching: 2

by Dr Davis on January 6, 2010

I went into the online section of the college and could not find the course I will be teaching in the fall.

Aack!

What do I do?

After some frantic searching, and checking email to make sure I had the course number correct, I finally remembered that my course is in our new online stuff (Angel) and not what the online college directs you to (Blackboard). That was a relief.

I logged into Angel without any trouble and there was my course, right where it should have been.

I felt a little foolish, but until I published it here, no one even knew.

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A Saga of Online Teaching

by Dr Davis on January 5, 2010

This starts last summer when I took the Angel Online training and received certification. It was very easy and I was kicking myself for not having done it earlier. Of course, I’d also gone to an in-person training, which made the online one far simpler.

Then I decided I needed to teach an online course. I talked to my boss in November and she was agreeable. So on the schedule I went from two f2f classes to one of each.

Then I went to a second Angel training situation. I was able to figure out how to do most of the stuff that was most necessary.

Then I got busy and did nada. Nothing.

Twenty days from Day 1 and I was panicking.

That is where the saga will pick up.

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Student-Teacher Relationships Online

by Dr Davis on December 9, 2009

I am teaching my first online course next semester. I am a bit nervous about it, but this article by Daniel Willingham gives me some encouragement.

The chief drawback of online schooling was equally obvious to me: The teacher-student relationship, funneled through an Internet connection, would necessarily suffer. How could a teacher really get to know students when all of the interactions were via email and webcams?
That disadvantage was obvious to me until I mentioned it, in passing, to a friend who is an online teacher. Her experience was the just the opposite. She felt that she knew her students better in an online environment than she had in a bricks-and-mortar school.

I was intrigued enough that I tracked down five other online teachers at different grade levels, all of whom had taught in traditional schools. They all reported the same feelings.

Once they explained the reasons, it seemed not only plausible, but obvious.

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Teaching an Online Class

by Dr Davis on October 23, 2009

line-drawing-computer-studentI got certification for teaching online this past summer.

Online teaching experience was the last hurdle that full-time positions have thrown at me (besides my age). So I’ve been working towards getting over that hurdle.

This spring I will be teaching an online freshman composition course. I am looking forward to it.

Now I need to get cracking on the course design section of the class.

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Online Teaching: Some Thoughts

by Dr Davis on October 11, 2009

Looking in the Teaching American Literature: A Journal of Theory and Practice for an article on how to teach online seems a bit counterintuitive.

But in the Spring 2009 issue, there is an interesting article called Medium Matters: Using Technology Logically, Ethically, and Imaginatively.

It’s a basic introduction to online education for teachers. There are hints on how to be personable in email, for example. I like it, though, especially as I am trying to secure an online course. This gives me food for thought.

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Online Education by NPR

by Dr Davis on September 27, 2009

Getting an Education on the Internet

Exclusive institutions offer a brand name, they offer social networking. Exclusivity never goes out of style. I think it is the – the regional institution, sort of the equivalent of the struggling regional newspaper that don’t have those big endowments, that don’t – don’t have the luxury of rejecting nine students for every one that they accept. They are the ones that are really in danger because online higher education is much less expensive than brick and mortar education. Some of the companies that are involved in this have been able to really drive costs down by only offering classes in – inexpensive introductory courses. And that’s an important distinction to make.

There is a much more developed discussion and it is interesting to read.

If you think about what a college costs right now, they’re taking freshmen and herding them 300 or 400 a time into a big lecture hall, charging them the same price that they charge for senior seminars and basically using the profits from the one to subsidize the other.

Er, not so much.

computer-laptop-guy-w1. No profits from student tuition. Student tuition doesn’t actually pay the cost of school.
2. Most colleges don’t have 300 or 400 students in every freshman class. Purdue doesn’t. UTexas doesn’t. I know community colleges don’t. It’s a straw man.
Yes, some lecture classes have that many students. But not many.
3. Those same students in the senior seminars were once freshman. So, if there were any subsidizing, you could say they were doing it for themselves.

Still, it’s interesting.

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Advice on Online Pay

by Dr Davis on June 28, 2009

Online teaching wages are discussed at Teach Online.

I was surprised by some of the numbers mentioned.

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